AKA The Ultimate Pumpkin Loaf
It is NOT too soon. It’s not!
I can see you rolling your eye and groaning. I know, I know. Wait for bloody October for the pumpkin spice business to begin. It’s like ads for Christmas paraphernalia before Hallowe’en. Just hang on, dammit!
I’m getting this out there now because if I don’t, you’ll go ahead and make some other silly pumpkin spice muffin recipe and there is absolutely no need. This is it. Full stop.
Ûber-pumpkin-spice muffins. Ultimate pumpkin spice muffins. Top-tier, best-ever, incomparable, essential, supreme, perfect pumpkin spice muffin recipe. No need to trust me. Try it yourself. You’ll see.
This definitive pumpkin spice muffin recipe, which works equally well as a loaf, is a variation on a recipe I found in an old Food & Drink magazine around 15 years ago. I’ve tried others but they don’t deliver like this one does. Everyone—and I do mean EVERYONE—who has tried it loves it. Obviously pumpkin-spice haters don’t even try.
I swapped out the whole wheat flour for almond flour to make them even more rich and moist. With the added fat, however, I needed to cut it down a touch to avoid making them heavy and soggy. You would think almond flour would be too hearty but it was not, adding a nice heft along with some protein and fibre. They do last longer with the almonds, in fact, they are better the next day, making them ideal as a make-ahead recipe.
I found the original recipe a little frustrating because you had to mix all your spices, then parcel a bit out and set it aside, and then stop yourself from accidentally mixing up the bowls…all too much for an early morning. Plus I needed more topping for muffins than I did for a loaf. So I’ve upped the spice, added white pepper as a further nod to lovely speculaas. You could do a cream cheese topping, if you’re feeling decadent.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (250 mL)
- ½ cup almond flour (175 mL) or ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)
- ½ tsp baking soda (2 mL)
- ½ tsp salt (2 mL)
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon (7 mL)
- ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg ( 2 mL)
- ½ tsp ginger ( 2 mL)
- ¼ tsp ground cloves (1 mL)
- ¼ tsp allspice (1mL)
- ¼ tsp white pepper (1mL)
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar (300 mL)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (250 mL)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (75 mL)
- ¼ cup orange juice, fresh or concentrate) (50 mL)
- ½ cup brown sugar (125 mL)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (2 mL)
- ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg (2 mL)
- ½ tsp ginger (1mL)
- ¼ tsp allspice (1mL)
- ¼ tsp cloves (1mL)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Place flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir until well mixed.
- Place spices and brown sugar in a bowl; add eggs and orange juice beat until smooth. Stir in canned pumpkin and oil.
- Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until just combined.
- Stir together topping ingredients until well mixed. Spoon a little on top of each muffin, or spread equally over the loaf.
- For muffins, place cupcake liners in a muffin tin. Divide batter equally and top with sugar-spice mixture. If using almond flour, bake for 20 minutes. With whole wheat flour, bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a piece of spaghetti comes out clean.
- For a loaf, line a loaf pan with parchment paper and fill with mixture, then add topping evenly across the top. Bake on middle rack of oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick (or spaghetti!) inserted in centre comes out clean. Let pan cool on rack for 15 minutes; turn loaf out and let cool completely.